Cloverdale family housebound after racist incident

Life has changed for the worse for the family of Tumaini Magorwa and Brenda Ojwang  since a racist, violent incident.       www.communitypix.com.au   d436120
Life has changed for the worse for the family of Tumaini Magorwa and Brenda Ojwang since a racist, violent incident.       www.communitypix.com.au d436120

“MY kids were too frightened to go outside… they thought they were going to get killed.”

These heartbreaking words came from Cloverdale mother Brenda Ojwang, whose kids were at the centre of a racist attack that went viral over social media in April.

The video was uploaded to Tumaini Magorwa’s personal Facebook page and showed their 51-year-old neighbour, Michelle Jacobsen, verbally attacking the couple over noise their children were allegedly making.

It then showed the woman come on to their side of the fence with a crowbar.

The Gazette sat down with Ms Ojwang after the incident, who said her children were too scared to play outside.

“They continually asked me, ‘Is the lady going to come and kill us’?” she said.

Ms Ojwang said the incident occurred when the children were playing on their bikes in the driveway.

“My oldest, who is six years old, came to me inside the house and said there was a lady saying bad words to them,” she said.

“She continued to verbally abuse me over the fence, so we called the police. The second incident occurred after the police had left.”

The video showed the neighbour armed and blocking cars from leaving the property.

“I took the children inside after that,” she said.

Ms Ojwang alleged the neighbour also sprayed water from her hose on the children, including a 17-month-old, and threatened them.

“It was very frightening,” she said.

South East Metropolitan District Community Engagement Co-ordinator Sergeant Matt Sharp could not comment on the incident but said everyone had the right to feel safe.

“The fact that this family didn’t feel safe in their own home is terrible,” he said.

“WA Police are working hard within the community, across the metropolitan area, to ensure everyone feels safe, especially in their own homes.”

The Gazette approached the neighbour after the incident but she refused to comment.

She has pleaded guilty to going armed in public likely to cause fear, disorderly conduct and conduct likely to racially harass. She faced Perth Magistrate’s Court on November 23 and received a suspended prison order.